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Doctors Without Borders physician in NYC tests positive for Ebola

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I guess he didn't follow the infection control protocols.



 



 



The Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned from West Africa has tested positive for the Ebola virus, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told CNN. The doctor, identified as Craig Spencer, 33, returned from West Africa about 10 days ago and developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Wednesday night.



 



A Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned from West Africa is at a New York hospital for isolation and testing for the Ebola virus, authorities said.



The 33-year-old physician, employed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Wednesday night, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told CNN. On Thursday morning, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for testing.



The doctor, who returned from West Africa about 10 days ago, has been identified as Craig Spencer, according to law enforcement officials.



At a news conference Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to allay public concerns about the spread of the deadly virus, saying that "careful protocols were followed every step of the way" in the city's handling of the case. The doctor has "worked closely" with health officials, the mayor said.





Spencer posted this image to Facebook on September 18 from Brussells, saying


Spencer posted this image to Facebook on September 18 from Brussells, saying "Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."



 

 



The doctor exhibited symptoms of the Ebola virus for "a very brief period of time" and had direct contact with "very few people" in New York, de Blasio told reporters.



"The important thing to remember here is, until we have full information, we can't draw conclusions," de Blasio said. "So we want to be careful not to make assumptions until all the testing is done."



On his Facebook page, Spencer posted a photo of himself in protective gear. The page indicates he went to Guinea around September 18 and later to Brussels in mid October.



"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders (MSF)" he wrote. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."



In a statement, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital said the doctor was "a dedicated humanitarian" who went to "an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population."





An image of Craig Spencer taken from his LinkedIn profile. n


An image of Craig Spencer taken from his LinkedIn profile.



"He is a committed and responsible physician who always puts his patients first," the hospital statement said. "He has not been to work at our hospital and has not seen any patients at our hospital since his return from overseas."



The CDC had people packing up to go to New York on Thursday, and a specimen from the physician will be sent soon to Atlanta for testing, an official familiar with the situation told CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.



Investigators are taking the case seriously because it appears the doctor didn't quarantine himself following his return, the law enforcement official said. The doctor took a car service to a bowling alley in Brooklyn on Wednesday night, the official said.



In a statement Thursday, Doctors Without Borders confirmed that the physicians recently returned from West Africa and was "engaged in regular health monitoring." The doctor contacted Doctors Without Borders Thursday to report a fever, the statement said.



The law enforcement official said the doctor was out in public. Authorities also quarantined his girlfriend, with whom he was spending time since his return from Africa.



The doctor began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, but it wasn't until Thursday, when he developed 103-degree fever, that he contacted Doctors Without Borders, authorities said.



The case came to light after the New York Fire Department received a call shortly before noon Thursday about a sick person in Manhattan. The patient was taken to Bellevue.



Mark Levine, a city councilman who represents the doctor's Manhattan neighborhood, said city health department workers were canvassing the area, distributing information on the disease door-to-door, according to CNN affiliate WABC.



"The goal right now is to make sure people don't panic," he said. "This is not a confirmed case. Folks are starting to get scared here in the neighborhood."



A statement from the New York Health Department said preliminary test results are expected in the next 12 hours.



 



The health department said a special ambulance unit transported a patient suffering from a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.



The doctor returned to the U.S. within the past 21 days from one of the three West African countries currently facing the outbreak of virus, the health department statement said.



Bellevue Hospital is designated for the "isolation, identification and treatment of potential Ebola patients" in the city, the statement said.



"As a further precaution, beginning today (Thursday), the Health Department's team of disease detectives immediately began to actively trace all of the patient's contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk," the health department statement said.



"The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim," the statement said, adding that the disease is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.



Bellevue Hospital is one of the eight hospitals statewide that Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated earlier this month as part of an Ebola preparedness plan, the state heath department said.



Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. But fears about its spread has mounted since the first person diagnosed with the disease in the United States was hospitalized in Texas last month.



Thomas Eric Duncan, who had flown from Liberia to Dallas, died on October 8. Two nurses who treated him became infected with the virus and are undergoing treatment, with the cases raising questions about the ability of local and federal officials to deal with an outbreak in the United States.



By Ray Sanchez and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN


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Quite the humanitarian bringing this stuff to NYC and going bowling last night.

 

Hope he lives so they can prosecute him.

 

I must be a sadist a tinge....because I laughed my arse when I read the reply of....."Hope he lives so they can prosecute him."

 

It's true, ironic, reality based, and not funny all in one....

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If we treat these doctors too badly, they won't go over there..., or so I've heard.

Just wait till our soldiers come home, will they isolate them?

 

You would think a Doctor would have better sense, but I guess this one didn't.

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Well here we go on Long Island. Local east end school closed due to student whose relatives just came over from Ebola land. No one knows if anyone has it but family to be quarantined for 21 days.

Question what happens if it shows up on the 22nd? If you had it and was cured can you have a relaps?

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We are going to find out.

This is all a big experiment, and data gathering exercise.

By the time this epidemic is over, those of us that live will know more about Ebola than we ever wanted to.

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Good thing he did not live in Texas.

 

"When Craig Spencer, a young doctor just back from treating patients with Ebola in Guinea, fell ill with the virus in New York on Thursday, the paramedics who went to get him were dressed in protective suits. He entered Bellevue Hospital through a rear door, far from the busy emergency room, and was taken to a state-of-the-art isolation ward that was locked and guarded.

 

The carefully planned response was a world apart from the scene that unfolded in a Dallas hospital last month when a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, became the first person to test positive for Ebola in the United States."

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